Degree Name

Education Specialist (EdS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

David E. Bartz


Several southern Illinois high schools began to adopt the block schedule format in the 1990s. This schedule alternative was a change from the traditional schedule of six or seven classes per day. The effects of the implementation of this schedule had not been evaluated. This study fulfilled that need.

The study, which took place in the spring of 1997, surveyed teachers' perceptions in the four southern Illinois high schools using a block schedule. These high schools were Benton High School, Eldorado High School, Mt. Vernon Township High School, and Pinckneyville High School, all located south of Interstate 64. Responses to the survey were received from 129 out of a possible 210 teachers.

Teachers' perceptions indicated that block scheduling did not improve course enrollments. Respondents indicated a decrease in course enrollments. However, information was not secured regarding the number of courses offered. Teachers' perceptions indicated that block scheduling did improve student cumulative grade point averages. Teachers' perceptions also indicated that block scheduling did improve student discipline. Respondents indicated that they were making fewer discipline referrals overall, and that a majority of teachers made no more than five referrals. The greatest advantage reported for the high school block schedule in southern Illinois was the additional instructional time available for each class. Other reported advantages were improvement in the quality of instruction and a reduction of stress in the educational setting.

The greatest disadvantage to the high school block schedule in southern Illinois was the difficulty created by student and teacher absences. Other reported disadvantages were the overall reduction in instructional minutes and the students' ability to assume responsibility for their assignments and retain their newly acquired knowledge.

The block schedule was overwhelmingly recommended by the teachers in the four high schools in southern Illinois that use it. Justifications for this recommendation were an improvement in the quality of instruction, the creation of a less stressful educational environment, and the implementation of an innovative schedule concept. Other southern Illinois high schools would be well advised to consider this scheduling alternative.